Revolution Me Film Festival

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We are happy to share that Determined 2 Make It is an official selection of the 2016 Revolution Me Film Festival in Brooklyn NY, August 19-21. For tickets and the festival schedule, go to http://www.revolutionmefilms.com/#!festival/vp0vu

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Diamonds Under Pressure

AP7U6954The soundtrack of Determined 2 Make It was created and performed by the boys and girls of the Southeast Michigan Juvenile Justice System in Youth Arts Alliance! music workshops. Most of these young people are featured in the documentary along with workshop facilitators, Ben Cohen, Akili Jackson and Yusuf Lateef of Radiant City.  The sound is mostly hip hop with original lyrics written by the youth with their poetry, stories of pain and suffering, and hopes and dreams for the future. Radiant City produced an album, Diamonds Under Pressure, with the 9 songs created in the workshops. To listen to the tracks, click on the following link:

Determined 2 Make It Soundtrack

Latinas and Latinos Breaking Barriers

Check out Juan Javier Pescador’s newly released documentary exploring the experiences of Latina/o college students in Michigan (Michigan State, Grand Valley, Lansing Community College) and the multiple obstacles they face in obtaining a degree. Based on oral history interviews this film unveils the resilience and determination of Latina/os to survive and thrive against all odds.

DIA Demonstration

At 5:30 pm today, artists, activists and citizens demonstrated outside the Detroit Institute of Arts protesting the sale of the museum’s art to pay off city debts. Yards away, inside the museum, are Rivera’s industry murals, a masterpiece which envisions the working class as protagonists and builders of society. Rivera’s dream of 1930s Detroit is still relevant in 2013 as social and economic divisions threaten public access to art, culture and education.


Stayed tuned for more images and footage on Rivera’s murals and their contemporary significance in our upcoming documentary, Detroit Tenochtitlan.

New Filmmakers NY Screening

The New York screening at Anthology Film Archives went just great. The timing was perfect, right in the middle of NY Pride week. Chris Rabideau, whose story was featured in the documentary, attended the screening as well as Eva from the Windsor Pride board. I was thrilled that the three of us could share in this moment and celebrate all the months of  hard work.  And how sweet of them to present me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers!

In the Q&A, we received very positive feedback from the audience as well as from the NewFilmmakers organizers.  One member of the audience was so enthusiastic that she is looking into the possibility of showing the film in Europe.  We’ll keep our fingers crossed about that!

Here I am with my cousin Portia Steen. It was great that she came out in the sweltering NY heat to show her support. Afterwards I got to meet her long time beau, Andy, and then the three us turned up the heat with very spicy Sri Lankan food, not to mention very stimulating conversation.